What is “fake news?” That phrase has been thrown around a lot recently. It seems to have gotten its start with the election of Donald Trump as President. That choice by the American people upset the mainstream media. They believed sincerely that Hillary Clinton would carry the day. Since Trump’s election the left wing, with the very close cooperation of the media, has tried to undermine every effort of the Trump Administration. One of their tactics is through questionable news stories.
Fake news can take on many forms. From out and out lying to refusing to cover certain stories. Another way is to change the language. The mainstream media seems to love to use the word immigration as in “The Trump Administration is cracking down on immigration.” That is just untrue. They are cracking down on illegal immigration. Illegal aliens are known as “undocumented workers.” Abortion is called “women’s health.” By changing the language they are presenting a totally different story to the American people and they are doing it on purpose.
I can close my eyes and imagine a group of lefties sitting around a table coming up with strategies designed to make Trump look bad. Consider the so-called “Russian” connection. “We’ll say that Russia interfered with the election making it look like Trump was a co-conspirator with them. I know it sounds ridiculous but some out there will believe it and before long it will get legs and then it will look like the truth.”
Well it didn’t work. Sure a lot of the mainstream media published stories about the “Russian Connection” but it just didn’t catch on. Now it just looks like silliness to most people especially when Trump bombed Syria. I don’t think Putin liked that.
I am a strong advocate for the first amendment and therefore I believe a free press is absolutely essential. I also believe publications can print any story they wish. We have slander laws. We have libel laws. When publications print untruths, they risk lawsuits and huge money damage awards. When they air or publish biased news or opinion disguised as news, they also risk losing the confidence of the consuming public.
We are told that if a person is in the public eye however, it is much more difficult to prove slander because many of the protections afforded normal citizens do not apply. President Trump is left with just calling the media out. By using the term “fake news,” he is basically accusing them of lying and he is doing it so effectively, many people across the land now do not trust the mainstream media. One of the most popular bumper stickers I’ve seen recently is one which says, “I don’t trust the national media.” Media outlets have brought this problem on themselves. The people have spoken and elected Trump whether the media likes it or not. The media’s continued battle against Trump will only hurt themselves.
If you are, like me, a regular consumer of news, it is not difficult to know the bias of the reporters or of their editors. The president just said that both CNN and MSNBC are purveyors of fake news and therefore should not be taken seriously. On the very rare occasions when I watch either of those networks, I can easily see their prejudice. It is revealed in their story content and in their reporting as well as in what they refuse to cover. I find it difficult to even watch drama and non-news events on the mainstream television networks and I would never read the New York Times. They always seem to get their prejudice into every story or event.
Yes, fake news is alive and well and it is not going away on its own. It will disappear when the consuming public turns it off and that is happening all across the land.